Beautiful Bathroom Style on a Budget: Regal, Rustic and Reclaimed

While some things can be done on a shoestring, home renovations usually aren’t one of them, with a sparkling new kitchen or a state-of-the-art new bathroom setting you back a pretty penny, covering a good portion of your home in dust and debris and depleting your stocks of tea in order to keep the builders watered.

In this instalment of beautiful interiors on a budget, we’ll go uber green and delve into creating that earthy, rustic finish by using reclaimed materials and simple low-cost touches that really make the difference. So leave the sledgehammer in the garage, resist the urge to dash down to your local home showroom and give these simple cosmetic alterations a chance.

We say who needs a ‘floating’ toilet anyway… 

Firstly forget about ripping out that old suite if you’re going for style on a budget, even that murky green or pink atrocity can be brought back to life with a little attention (Any ideas why anyone ever thought it would be a good idea to make suites in these colours would be greatly appreciated). You probably think that a cheap dated suite is a dream-bathroom deal breaker, but a bad bath and a circa 1970’s loo can be spruced up using expensive fittings – frugally.

Old taps can be a surprisingly stylish feature

Salvage yards are great places to find really quirky handles for cabinets, toilets chains, light cords and bathroom taps and you may be lucky enough to get hold of some beautiful vintage finds. Brass is one particular gem you’re likely to unearth but bear in mind that some older materials may need more care in comparison to newer materials that have been coated.

Bath panels are a fantastic way to turn a cheap plastic bath into a sophisticated feature and these can be purchased cheaply from a range of manufacturers, such as Plumbworld. Opting for a panel that will gloss or paint well is a great way to bring some of that rustic personality to your bathroom too and a beautiful teal or ochre would look fantastic against patterned tiles.


Talking of tiles, we just had to share this beautiful example of a bathroom that’s taken a selection of reclaimed tiles and made it work despite the tiles all having unique patterns and colouring. Of course if you’re going for an entire overhaul using reclaimed tiles then you’ll need to enlist some expert tiling help as well as ensuring your tiles all tessellate and compliment each other. Mis-matched works, but it’s always worth choosing tiles with a similar ‘wash’, as you can see in the above image, the tiles all have the same faded hue. You can find reclaimed tiles near you by visiting and if a complete re-tiling isn’t an option, a few ‘splashback’ tiles above your wash basin can look beautiful.

Now it’s fair to say that we’re a little biased on the whole mirror front, but trust us when we say, a great mirror is always one of the first things on a designer’s mind. A mirror can make a room, project light into the dullest of spaces and generally give an IKEA furnished room a touch of opulence. Nothing says classic and expensive like an oak framed mirror and if you’re going for the rustic effect, then a beautiful rich wood is one of the best materials for complimenting your decor.

 Our Illuminated Mirror’s solid oak mirrors start from a pocket-friendly £79.00, but if you can’t bear to be parted from your HD-style shaver illuminated mirror, then a slim style will fit seamlessly into your decor without spoiling the overall finish of the room.

If you try a rustic mini-makeover on a suitably mini budget then do get in touch on Facebook or Twitter and share your top tips. From treasure trove salvage yards to your own DIY masterpieces, we would love to share your style secrets on the blog.


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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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